Entering (Inheriting) the Kingdom of God (Eternal Life)

This is a subsidiary post of The Kingdom of God.

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Just as the New Testament uses “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” interchangeably, so it also uses entering and inheriting as well as kingdom and (eternal) life in the same interchangeable way.  The verses below will demonstrate that.

Here then are verses which deal with entrance into the kingdom – who qualifies and who doesn’t.  Remember that the kingdom of God (eternal life) is a spiritual reality offered to believers in Christ now.

An asterisk at the beginning of the citation indicates a less explicit reference to entering (or inheriting) the kingdom of God (or eternal life).

Matthew 5:20  –  “enter the kingdom of heaven”

Matthew 6:33  –  “Seeking” implies “seeking to enter” (as in Luke 13:24).

Matthew 7:13, 14  –  “enter by the narrow gate…For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life”

Matthew 7:21, 22, 23  –  “enter the kingdom of heaven”

*Matthew 16:19  –  “the keys of the kingdom of heaven”

Matthew 18:1-3  –  “enter the kingdom of heaven”

Matthew 18:8  –  “enter life”
Matthew 18:9  –  “enter life”

Matthew 19:16-30  –  See Matthew 19:17 for “enter into life,” Matthew 19:23 for “enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 19:24 for “enter the kingdom of God,” and Matthew 19:29 for “inherit eternal life.”

*Matthew 21:31  –  “the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you”

*Matthew 23:13  –  “shut off the kingdom of heaven” and “entering to go in.”

Matthew 25:1-13

Matthew 25:14-30  –  See Matthew 25:21, 23 for “enter.”

Matthew 25:31-46  –  See Matthew 25:34 for “inherit.”

Mark 9:43  –  “enter life”
Mark 9:45  –  “enter life”
Mark 9:47  –  “enter the kingdom of God”

Mark 10:13-31 –  See Mark 10:15 for “the kingdom of God…enter,” Mark 10:17 for “inherit eternal life,” Mark 10:23 for “enter the kingdom of God,” Mark 10:24 for “enter the kingdom of God,” and Mark 10:25 for “enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 10:25-37  –  See Luke 10:25 for “inherit eternal life.”

*Luke 11:52  –  “you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering you hindered.”  –  Although there is no explicit reference to the kingdom of God or to eternal life either in this verse or in the immediate context, it is hard not to think of this verse apart from the kingdom (especially when noting its similarity to Matthew 21:43 and other passages of indictment against Israel’s religous leadership of the day), and also when you consider the use of “key” and the reference to “entering.”

Luke 13:23-30  –  See Luke 13:24 for “enter” twice.

Luke 18:15-30  –  See Luke 18:17 for “the kingdom of God…enter,” Luke 18:18 for “inherit eternal life,” Luke 18:24 for “enter the kingdom of God,” and Luke 18:25 for “enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:5  –  “enter into the kingdom of God”

Acts 14:22  –  “enter the kingdom of God”

1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, 11  –  “inherit the kingdom of God”

Galatians 5:19, 20, 21  –  “inherit the kingdom of God”

Ephesians 5:5  –  “an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God”

Titus 3:7  –  “heirs according to the hope of eternal life”

Hebrews 9:15  –  “the eternal inheritance

James 2:5  –  “heirs of the kingdom”

1 Peter 3:7  –  “a fellow heir of the grace of life”

2 Peter 1:10-11  –  “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”

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